What do most viral marketing campaigns have in common?

Although viral messages and content vary wildly from business to business, there are three distinct elements that most campaigns share. Marketers should keep these in mind when trying to assess whether or not a campaign has the potential for some serious buzz.

They’re organic

Reality check: viral campaigns can’t be forced.

In the case of any sort of trend, whether or not something gets shared around is ultimately decided by your audience.

Content spreads organically. That’s how viral marketing works.

Oftentimes, it’s about being at the right place at the right time (or rather, saying the right thing at the right time). You can’t really explain memes or crazes such as the “does pineapple belong on pizza” debate.
That said, marketers can set up their content for sharing by having a pulse on social trends (more on how you can achieve that later).

They’re timely

Simply put, trends come and go.

Although viral marketing campaigns have the potential to leave an impression on customers or the public at large, people have pretty short attention spans for these types of memes, hot topics and trends.

By the time one trend blows up, we’re often looking for the next craze. For example, how much longer until the now-ubiquitous “Woman Yelling at Cat”